Dr. Phillips Center to host 6-month festival with elevated seating pods

To help revive the live entertainment scene that has been wiped out for most of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is planning a unique, socially-distanced outdoor event.

The 'Front Yard Festival' will be a 6-month long event that the center hopes will reignite Central Florida's local arts scene and return live entertainment to downtown Orlando. 

To create the event, the arts center's three front parcels will be transformed into an entertainment venue that will showcase a mix of music, comedy, films, health and wellness programs, and local community arts performances.  

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To keep people properly distanced, the arts center is building 380 elevated seating “pods” inspired by a similar outdoor venue created at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, UK.  

"Each 5’ x 7’ pod, which can seat up to five guests, will be built using metal scaffolding materials with six feet of space between each pod," the center tells FOX 35 News. 

Other COVID-19 safety measures will be in place, including mandatory face masks for all visitors and temperature checks.

Several local restaurants and food trucks will on-site each day, offering beer, wine, and cocktails.

Many performances will be ticketed and there are plans to offer daytime programs showcasing professional musicians at no cost.

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The arts center hopes to launch the festival sometime in December.

COVID-19 has created significant challenges for performing arts centers and stages around the world,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “To keep our mission moving forward, our team has come up with a unique way for guests to re-connect and re-engage with one another and enjoy live entertainment and culture again. This big idea is gaining fantastic support by sponsors, partners, and artists.”